Mother who killed son to travel to Saudi to serve 10 years in prison

Happy Mwenda before Justice Ann Ong'injo at the Mombasa High Court. [Joackim Bwana, Standard]

A woman who strangled her one-year-old son to death to facilitate her travel to Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by the High Court in Mombasa.

Happy Mwenda was charged with the murder of her son, whom she strangled and subsequently disposed of in a septic tank, all in an effort to secure the opportunity to work in Saudi Arabia.

On Thursday, Justice Ann Ong'injo said Mwenda deserved punishment not only as a deterrent to potential offenders but also to impart the crucial lesson that life is sacred.

"The child, who depended on the accused person, perished due to selfish interests. She eliminated the child to further her travel plans to the East. This court concludes that the accused should be penalised," the judge said.

Alvin Mumba, aged one, had a constitutional right to life, Ong'injo added. The judge said Mwenda needs to comprehend she lacks the authority to take a life. "The appropriate punishment in the view of this court is 10 years' imprisonment, effective from August 2, 2022," Justice Ong'injo said.

The judge said Mwenda's husband, Yawe Mbaru, had separated from her in 2017, and the incident marked the first time she had gone to his house since the heinous act occurred.

Mwenda was initially charged in July of last year with the murder of Mumba. The accused committed the offence on July 7, 2022, at Bombo Area in Kisauni sub-county within Mombasa county.

During the sentencing, Justice Ong'injo said the prosecution established the accused had secured a job in the Middle East.

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